Can hair be a medium for both art and politics simultaneously? Laetitia Ky spared us from the search for an answer. Spoiler alert: it’s a yes!
Ivory Coast artist Laetitia has been braiding hair since she was five years old. She turned this interest in braiding into art, creating incredible hair sculptures that are both whimsical and powerful. What started as a fun way to express her creativity has since transformed into a form of political expression, promoting a vision of African beauty grounded in pre-colonial aesthetic traditions; a commitment to body-positivity; and a well-defined feminist politics.
Laetitia’s various hair sculptures from pistol shape ponytails to a gender equality balance on top of her scalp compelled thousands to follow her on her Instagram account. As of today she has over 182k followers on instagram that are eager to witness how she pushes boundaries using only extensions, wire, wool, a needle and thread.
Laetitia has also launched “Kystroy”, a clothing brand into which her politics and body positivity are innately built. The labels, for example, don’t use the words ‘small,’ ‘medium,’ or ‘large,’ but rather ‘stunning,’ ‘magnificent,’ and ‘lovely’, true to her feminist stance.
The young artist acknowledges that her art is pretty innovative and unique and elaborates by stating “People remember what you say because of how you say it. My art is a bit unusual, so I thought, if I add a message, maybe it will stick.”